Effect of different dietary amino acid profile on growth and chemical composition of Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L.) larvae : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Animal Science at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand, School of Agriculture and Environment

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With increased focus on food security worldwide, including alternative proteins in manufactured animal feed and human diets is an increasingly popular topic among diverse groups. Black soldier fly (BSF) (Hermetia illucens L.) larvae have gained significant attention in recent decades. The larvae provide good-quality proteins; however, the rearing procedures and rearing substrate for this species vary considerably. It is essential because the body composition of these insects is highly dependent on the rearing substrate in terms of all essential nutrients and other substances, such as heavy metal residue. The current study looks at the dietary amino acid influence on the body composition of BSF larvae. This research aimed to find out whether the BSF larvae require a list of essential amino acids as the monogastric animals do and whether they need an ideal amino acid profile for their efficient production. Answering these questions can shine a light on the mass production efficiency of this species of insect and aid the production of BSF with a relatively constant nutritional profile so they can be reliably incorporated as feed ingredients. Earlier literature indicates that the growth of BSF larvae is affected by ambient conditions such as temperature and culturing substrates. The chemical composition of the substrates is directly related to the content of the larvae, and amino acid requirements, being the foundation of the proteins, are important to understand. Two distinct diets were formulated and presented in two treatments in the current study. Ten replicates of 50-week-old larvae in each treatment were established and reared for 14 days. The larvae and their feeding substrates were then sent for chemical, including amino acid, analysis. My findings suggest that BSF larvae can synthesise a relatively stable amino acid profile regardless of the amino acid composition of the diet. However, for optimal growth performance, balanced diets are essential. There are only a few amino acids that are most likely essential for BSF larvae, namely valine, leucine, lysine, and taurine.
Figure 1 (=De Smet et al., 2018 Fig 1) was removed for copyright reasons.